The Problem With Expert Opinions.
I am not opposed to anyone, including myself, seeking out the wisdom, experience, and opinions of others. They can be helpful as we try to make progress in our lives.
I love hearing the opinions of others, but I have always believed that not all opinion is equally weighted. Clearly, in some settings, the opinion of one is more valid or important than another’s.
What I see as challenging in our day is that it has never been easier for people to share and spread their opinion. Experts and even self-proclaimed experts inundate us with opinions on everything from health to happiness.
We should try, whenever possible, to seek out the best or most expert opinions we can find. But we mustn’t forget that even ‘expert’ opinions are ultimately just opinion and not fact.
Even when people who flaunt credentials after their name share their educated and most certainly well informed opinion, they do not, and we should never allow them to supersede our own need to think critically and make decisions for ourselves.
It’s good to outsource many things in life to people who are more expert than us, but we must never outsource our thinking and decision making.
Now I’m not naive, of course we will and can be influenced by others, and that’s okay. But we must strive to collect all the information, knowledge, and opinion available, and then pay the price of exerting our cognitive functions to form our own opinions, decisions, and actions.
Let us never simply parrot the popular ideologies of the day without first truly seeking, thinking and understanding.
I don’t know if I care what social, political or moral stance we all choose to take as much as I care that whatever it is, it is educated, well-informed, and a product of our own earnest efforts to think for ourselves.
Thinking for ourselves, hearing and expressing different ideas, even opposing ideas, makes life rich and relationships robust.
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